David Holzman’s Diary (1967)


Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.   

USA, 1967.   Screenplay by Jim McBride.  Cinematography by Produced by Jim McBride.  Film Editing by Jim McBride.

Experimental film by Jim McBride done in the style of documentary and convincingly so. David Holzman (actually played by actor ) is unemployed and has decided to film a diary of his life in the big city as an artist trying to make it. We get some fun experiments with camera techniques in between lengthy monologues in which he declares he is looking to understand more about life but is actually just aggravating people around him, and his explorations quickly devolve into an obsession with both his ex-girlfriend and the woman who lives opposite his apartment building. Long admired for its clever, effective parodying of films like Chronicle of a Summer or the stuff being made by Robert Frank or the Warhol studio, McBride’s entry into film lore is more admirable than enjoyable: sitting through it isn’t as easy as talking about it afterwards, but it does inspire an interesting conversation about the act of filmmaking, whether it’s possible to avoid the lure of voyeurism that comes with the act pointing a camera at everything.

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